Commercial whale watching in Sri Lanka was first mooted in the 1980s following documentation of whale sightings in the Trincomalee bay by marine biologists of the research vessel The Tulip. They found out that blue whales and sperm whales were coming into the Trincomalee harbour using a submarine canyon. Whales of Trincomalee had also featured in the award winning film “Whales weep not”, the first underwater filming of Sperm whales in their natural habitat. Though Trincomalee was earlier tipped to be a whale watching hot spot, security restrictions had shelved projects to develop whale watching in the area.
Whale Watching with Indigo Ocean
This beautiful location was used to make the film “Bridge of the river Qwai” by David Lean. Kitulgala is an Eco Adventure with rafting in The Kaleni River including walks in the bird trails of the adjoining rain forest mountains ranging to Sri Pada range and Hortain Plains of the central hills. Residing by the river you will make a deep relaxation only hearing sound of the river.
Yala (Ruhuna) National Park is approachable through the town of Tissamaharama in the Hambantota District of the Southern Province in the island country of Sri Lanka. The park has a very interesting history. The earliest evidence suggests that this region was inhabited as far back as 2nd Century BC. This is known from the epigraphic “Brahmi” inscriptions discovered here. Structures of the earliest Buddhist cave monastery type began to be constructed wherever there were people and many are still there in the area. This territory was part of the Rohana (Ruhuna) Kingdom which had a very advanced civilization as evinced by the remains.
There was some sudden misfortune which led to the dissemination of the civilization here and a jungle tide spread covering the past with a covering of secondary forest. These have developed to the climax stands seen in Yala (Ruhuna) National Park today.
This 30800 hectares dry zone game park was declared as a protected national park in 1972 and has an annual rainfall of 1524 mm and an average temperature of 29.4 0 C. This park is world famous for it’s Elephants, seen in all their playfulness, whole herds of them, adults and babies bathing and playing in the water or feeding.
This safari would be an unforgettable bird watching experience as “Udawalawe” is one of the best parks for bird watching too.
The endemic species of bird called Red Faced Malkoha has its favorite habitat in the 192 square km parkland. Serpent Eagles, Hawk Eagles, White Bellied Sea Eagles, Black Eagles, Black Capped Bulbuls, Racket Tailed Drongos, Malabar Pied Horn Bills, White Necked Storks, Open Bills, Ibis, Shama – The forest Nightingale, Strol Billed Kin Fishers and peacocks are found in fair numbers. Among the migrant birds are the forest wagtails, Indian Pitta, Whiskered Terns, Osprey Sand Pipers and Terns.
This Located 182 kilometers from the Sri Lankan capital, Colombo, Minneriya National Park is an ideal eco tourism spot in the country. Spread over 8890 hectares, it was designated a biosphere reserve in the late 1970’s. But in 1997 the Sri Lankan government declared it as a National Park and in the following year the Minniriya Wild life Reserve was opened for public viewing and since then it has managed to attract tourists from all over the country and globe. The wetland habitat of Minneriya National Park in Sri Lanka is inhabited by a large number of mammals such as elephants and sambars, leopards, sloth bears and the purple faced leaf monkey. The best season to view the animals is during the dry season from June to September when they gather in huge herds at the banks of the Minneriya reservoir. Visitors are also spot the endangered red lipped lizard and the Sri Lankan swamp crocodile in the reservoir.
In addition to the various species of mammals, the Minneriya National Park is also home to rare aquatic bird species such as the little cormorant. In addition to them, the painted strokes, Great white pelicans, Ruddy turnstones and Grey herons can also been spotted at the reserve. Early morning and late evening are perfect timings to spot these migratory birds.
Beside the flora and the fauna, one of the main features of the park is the ancient Minneriya Tank. Built in 3rd century AD by King Mahasena, the tank helps in the irrigation of over 8500 hectares of paddy lands.
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